“A last glance, out the window where the Lunatic Posse gather before the Door. Distracted. I ease open the back door. Alone. I Run.”
I run, straight on and fast as my weary legs will carry me. I don’t look around, sparing only the slightest glace for where I am going. Ahead there is a copse of trees. Dangerous place for me. They like the darkness. Places like that could be teeming with them. But until today, I’ve seen no other Members of the Lunatic Posse here. I could be safe.
I hear them now. The noise they make carries on the wind. It sounds so final, in this empty world. I might be alone. I might be the only normal person left. That frightens me more than the scream of rage I hear again. The female. Denied her meal. Good. Starve.
Almost to the treeline. I glance around me now, unsure of what I am looking for, but sure I will see it if it bears seeing. Barbed wire fence, nearly hidden in the tall overgrowth of grasses. Caught on that, I’m a meal for the taking. Someone was. There is a corpse bound in the metal barbs, its mouth open in a silent scream. The Posse was here. This poor creature was torn limb from limb. Literally. Its arm hangs nearby from the fence by its sleeve. Still attached.
The house explodes. Now it will bring the rest. I had no choice. Mindless. Anyone with half a brain wouldn’t have touched those bottles. It proves my point. They are no longer human. No longer capable of cohesive thought. Just the single minded desire to destroy. I turned the tables. I’ll pay at some point. They don’t forget. Not so mindless. They can be taught.
In the trees now. It’s quiet, like an ancient burial ground. Here and there the tiny creeping movements of squirrels in the trees. I hate those damn things. But I’m glad enough for proof of life. There is an old, gnarled tree ahead. Puts me to mind of a dark fairy tale. Fairy tales. I’m so tired. In its branches there is a blind. I could sleep there. Relatively safe, but for the animals. I can live that that.
I am afraid. There are footsteps here. I climb the tree with agility I thought I’d lost. In terror I suppose we remember many things. The blind was well made, hidden nearly completely from view, but allowing those using it incredible long range sight. My body weeps for rest. Not yet. I have to see what is stalking these woods.
Closer. I think. It’s hard to tell, the sound carries. The roar of the pyre that was once my sanctuary is loud. Roars like an animal. Fire is an animal. Ravenous. It bites. Footsteps directly below me. I hold my breath. It won’t help. They smell you long before they hear or see you. It paused. Right. Below. Me. Hateful tears. I don’t dare move to wipe them away.
A breathy gasp. Quiet mumbling. Not a Posse member. HUMAN! I lean carefully over the edge. There is room for two. For the night. A man stands there. Obviously exhausted as I am. I make a noise and he glances up. And climbs. He could be as dangerous as the Lunatic Posse. I’m able to kill. If I must.
His story is like mine. Caught out. Lost his love. They ate her while she lived. Sadistic bastards. A group of three. I wonder if it was the three I just killed off. If so, judgement was done. He weeps as he tells me. He needs to turn that off. No emotion means survival.
I lay down. My body can’t hold itself up anymore. Wish my mind would shut off. Take me away to that dark fairy tale where nothing and everything has light. Enchanted trees…..
I wake in the hours before dawn. The dark is lighter. Shadows less deep. No sounds. Arms around me. I should move away. But it feels good. I’m starved for affection of any sort. And so I stay, eyes open and mind wandering. He mumbles in my ear, and I startle. His voice. It rattles like the chains in my dreams. He said my name. I didn’t tell him.
Afraid again. I need to move away, but I’m trapped by his embrace. My attempts to wriggle away only cause him to pull me tighter to his body. It’s warm. Torn. He knows my name, that’s cause enough to be scared, but he’s warm and I’ve been so cold.
The beginning of the end for we humans was so small. A nothing event. A vaccine. Concocted by our government to battle the flu that was ravaging our culture. Millions dead worldwide. They compared it to the Black Death. People scrambled to get it. Not I. It stank of corruption. It screamed danger. I refused. So did my man. Thank God we did. Or I’d be one of those. I’d rather die.
He’s awake, still mumbling in my ear. Ramblings of a madman, or truth, I’m not sure. But the fire in my belly is a hunger I’d forgotten since the world died. I look at him, over my shoulder and his lips find mine. The fire is an inferno. It blazes with the heat of Hell as he enters my body with his stiffness. Memories of days with my Love flood my mind, those loving nights. I hit my peak fast, as does he. This was fulfilling a need, not for comfort. Just as well.
There are sounds around us now. Day has broken over the horizon. He speaks, loud, and I hush him with my finger. These are not good sounds. These are not small creatures that roam the trees and play in the fallen leaves. I peek over the edge. Nearly scream. We are surrounded. We are trapped. The Posse is here. So is The Door.
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